India Citizenship Act: Rahul Gandhi calls on students to protest at Raj Ghat

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Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) is also holding a rally against the legislation in Chennai

The Congress party will hold a protest against the amended Citizenship Act at Delhi’s Raj Ghat in India. 

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi urged students to join him to protest, which will be held around 3pm on Monday, against “the hate and violence unleashed on India by Modi-Shah.”

Meanwhile, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) is holding a rally against the legislation in Chennai. Congress leader P Chidambaram and MDMK’s Vaiko along with other leaders are leading the protest march against amended citizenship law in Chennai.

DMK MP Kanimozhi says the Citizenship Amendment Act is a major step towards creating a Hindu nation.

File Photo: Demonstrators wearing Guy Fawkes masks arrive to attend a protest rally against a new citizenship law, in Kolkata, India, December 20, 2019 | Reuters

“If a law, which sanctions discrimination on the basis of religion is enacted and which provides a clause saying that a person cannot seek refuge in this country because of his religion, then, this law is against the fundamentals of the Constitution,” she tells The Hindu.

Over 15,000 workers from several political parties are participating in the DMK-led march, according to The Times of India.

Retired Supreme Court judge Madan Lokur told Hindustan Times that the definition of illegal immigrant in the amended citizenship law is unconstitutional.

The Muzaffarnagar district administration constituted a special investigation cell to probe cases of violence during the clashes between police and anti-Citizenship Act protestors, police said.

Superintendent of Police (Crime) RB Chaurasia said the special cell has started investigating 24 cases registered in connection with the violence on December 20, according to PTI.

File photo: Demonstrators carry posters during a protest against a new citizenship law, outside the Jamia Millia Islamia University in New Delhi, India, December 21, 2019 | Reuters

On Sunday, Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma blamed Popular Front of India and members of the banned outfit Students Islamic Movement of India for organizing violent protests across the state against the amended citizenship law.

Twenty-four people have been killed since the anti-Citizenship Act protests erupted. The highest number of deaths has been reported from Uttar Pradesh, where 17 people were killed since December 19. Fourteen of the 17 people who were killed succumbed to “firearm injuries.”

However, police claimed they did not resort to firing and suspected the involvement of outsiders during the protest.

The Citizenship Amendment Act aims to provide Indian citizenship to people from six persecuted minority religious communities in Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan, except Muslims, as long as people from these communities have entered India on or before December 31, 2014.